Magnolia to Release Romanian Comedy ‘Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn’ on DVD, Digital

Magnolia Home Entertainment has announced the Feb. 15 release of Bad
Luck Banging or Loony Porn, a Romanian comedy-drama film written and directed by Radu Jude (Aferim!).

The film will be available on DVD and digitally on such platforms as Apple TV, Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu, and DirecTV.

Starring Katia Pascariu, Claudia Ieremia, and Olimpia Măla, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn follows the story of a Romanian high school teacher named Emi (Pascariu) who finds her career and reputation under threat when a private sex tape she filmed is leaked to the internet. Forced to confront the parents demanding her dismissal at an emergency community meeting, Emi refuses to give in to their pressure.

Outside the school and on the streets of Bucharest, she is met with judging eyes and encounters countless slice-of-life mini-dramas.

The film had its world premiere at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival in March 2021, where it won the Golden Bear award — the third Romanian film to do so in the last nine years.

Kino Lorber to Release Cronenberg’s ‘Eastern Promises’ on 4K UHD Blu-ray

Kino Lorber on March 22 will release acclaimed director David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The 2007 crime thriller stars Vigo Mortensen and Naomi Watts and was critically hailed, but could only muster a weak $17.3 million domestic box office tally ($56.1 million worldwide).

It was released two years after another acclaimed Cronenberg film, A History of Violence, which also starred Mortensen and generated more than $31.5 million in movie ticket sales.

In Eastern Promises,  Mortensen delivers an Oscar-nominated performance as Nikolai, a ruthless and mysterious Russian who has ties to one of the most dangerous crime families in London. His carefully maintained existence is jarred when he crosses paths with Anna (Watts), a midwife who has come across potentially damaging evidence against the family. Their unusual relationship sets off an unstoppable chain of deceit, death and retribution.

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The film picked up several awards, including a Best Actor win for Mortensen at the British Independent Film Awards. Mortensen also was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. 

The 4K UHD release features a new HDR Dolby Vision master that was approved and graded by cinematographer Peter Suschitzky. Bonus features include a new interview with screenwriter Steven Knight and several featurettes, including three with Cronenberg: “Secrets and Stories” (10:32); “Marked for Life” (6:42); and “Two Guys Walk Into a Bath House” (1:55). Also included are a featurette with Watts, “Watts on Wheels” (0:55) and two theatrical trailers. 

The film also will be available on regular Blu-ray Disc, again with a new UHD SDR master approved and color traded by Suschitzky and the same set of bonus features.

For retailers, orders are due Feb. 22.

Kino Lorber Honors Legacy of Sidney Poitier With Five-Film Blu-ray Release

Kino Lorber is honoring the legacy of celebrated actor Sidney Poitier, who died Jan. 6 at 94, with the Blu-ray Disc release of five of his classic films, including Lilies of the Field, for which Poitier won an Oscar.

“A pioneering movie star, director, and activist, Poitier’s groundbreaking screen roles paved the way for a generation of Black actors and established him as an entertainment icon,” the independent film distributor said in a statement.

Lilies of the Field, directed by Ralph Nelson, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The 1963 film landed Poitier a Best Actor win for his portrayal of Homer Smith, an itinerant handyman who while driving through the Arizona desert meets five impoverished nuns. Stopping to fix their leaky farmhouse roof, Homer discovers that not only will the Mother Superior not pay him for the job, but she also wants him to build their chapel — for free! Hesitant at first, Homer soon finds himself single-handedly raising the chapel and the financing. 

Also available on Blu-ray Disc from Kino Lorber are For Love of Ivy (1968), a stylish romance in which Poitier plays a high-rolling hustler who is blackmailed into seducing a client’s naive young housekeeper;  The Wilby Conspiracy (1975), in which Poitier and Michael Caine play two very different men suddenly bound together and running for their lives in a suspenseful chase thriller set in apartheid-era South Africa; Red Ball Express (1952), a World War II film that marks one of Poitier’s first screen appearances; and Nationtime (1972), a documentary, narrated by Poitier, on the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, a historic event that gathered Black voices from across the political spectrum, including Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory, Coretta Scott King and Isaac Hayes.

Shout! Studios Announces First-Ever North American Home Release of Lu Yang’s ‘A Writer’s Odyssey’

Shout! Studios has announced the March 8 multiplatform release of A Writer’s Odyssey, a new fantasy action-adventure from Lu Yang, the popular Chinese director behind The Brotherhood of Blades and The Sacrifice.

The film will be released through digital retailers and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

In the film, Guan Ning has descended into despair after the disappearance of his daughter. With nothing left to lose in his life, he is approached by a powerful corporation that hires him for a dark task — to kill the young author of a fantasy novel. But the author’s work is no ordinary book: the fantastic world he created is somehow merging with the real one.

Available for the first time for home entertainment in North America, the disc editions of A Writer’s Odyssey offer the film in English with the original Mandarin language audio track as an option.

Kino Lorber to Release 1924 Silent Classic ‘Three Women’ on Blu-ray Disc

Kino Lorber on Jan. 18 will release Three Women, a 1924 silent drama from famed German director Ernst Lubitsch, on Blu-ray Disc.

Three Women, also known as Die Frau, die Freundin und die Dirne, stars May McAvoy, Pauline Frederick, and Marie Prevost and is based on the novel Lillis Ehe by Yolande Maree (Iolanthe Mares).

With his third American film, Three Women (made just after The Marriage Circle), Lubitsch continued to endow Hollywood studio films with the European sophistication and graceful storytelling that had become his hallmark while working as a director in Germany. Frederick and McAvoy star as a mother and daughter who find themselves competing for the attention of George, a handsome opportunist (Lew Cody), who yearns to lay hands on the women’s $3 million fortune. Prevost stars as George’s mistress, a sultry femme fatale who threatens to sabotage any romance that may transpire, further testing the strength of the primal mother/daughter relationship.

Lavishly produced, Three Women became one of Warner Brothers’ most-popular films of the 1924-25 season, and is presented in a 4K restoration performed by the George Eastman Museum, with an orchestral score by Andrew Earle Simpson.

The Blu-ray Disc includes an audio commentary by Anthony Slide.

Kino Lorber Sets Jan. 4 Disc Dates for Three 1930s Mysteries

Kino Lorber on Jan. 4 will release three vintage mysteries from the 1930s under its Kino Lorber Studio Classics banner.

Rich and Strange (1931), one of Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest films, will be available on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Also known as East of Shanghai, the film is a product of Hitchcock’s early directorial endeavors in the pre-World War II British film industry. Fred Hill (Henry Kendall) and his wife Emily (Joan Barry) lead a boring existence in the London suburbs. When the Hills come into an inheritance from a wealthy uncle, Fred quits his mundane job and they embark on a world cruise to get a taste of the high life. But all does not go as planned as the couple’s voyage becomes fraught with treacherous romantic duplicities. 

Bonus features include a 4K restoration by Studio Canal, a new audio commentary by film historian Troy Howarth, and clips of audio interviews with Hitchcock conducted in the early 1960s by film critic and French New Wave director François Truffaut.

Crime of the Century (1933) gets a Blu-ray Disc-only release on Jan. 4. Directed by William Beaudine, this classic whodunit centers around Dr. Emil Brandt, a hypnotist who bursts into a police station and confesses to a murder. The only problem is, the murder he’s confessed to hasn’t happened yet — although stolen money and dead bodies soon turn up. The film’s star-studded cast includes Jean Hersholt (13 Washington Square, Heidi), Wynne Gibson (Night After Night, Her Bodyguard), Stuart Erwin (Before Dawn, Our Town) and Frances Dee (Little Women, I Walked with a Zombie).

The Kino Lorber Studio Classics Blu-ray features a new commentary by author and film historian Lee Gambin and costume historian Elissa McKechnie.

The third film Kino Lorber is releasing Jan. 4 is another Blu-ray Disc exclusive, Double Door, from 1934. Directed by  Charles Vidor (Gilda, A Farewell to Arms), this gothic chiller has Mary Morris reprising her acclaimed Broadway role as one of the most dastardly villains of all time, Victoria Van Brett. In a spooky New York City mansion, the Van Brett matriarch rules her clan with an iron hand. The sinister spinster schemes to ruin any chance her siblings might have for happiness. Evil lurks around every corner of this old dark house, and especially in a secret room behind a certain double door.

Bonus features include two new audio commentary tracks, one by film historian Tom Weaver and the other by film historians David Del Valle and Stan Shaffer.

Kino Lorber Sets DVD, Blu-ray Dates for Seasons 3, 4 of ‘Gomorrah’

Kino Lorber has scheduled the DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of two more seasons of the Italian crime drama series “Gomorrah,” which has been called Italy’s answer to “Breaking Bad.”

Season three will be released Jan. 25, with season four following on Feb.  22.

The series debuted in January 2016 on Sky Atlantic and has since been sold in early 200 countries, including the United States, where it is currently being streamed on HBO Max.

The gangster show from Stefano Sollima (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, Romanzo Criminale) is based on Roberto Saviano’s best-selling book and the subsequent award-winning film of the same name.

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“Gomorrah” is set in Naples in the 2010s. The series follows Ciro Di Marzio, a member of the Savastano Camorra clan of Secondigliano, headed by Pietro Savastano. When Pietro is arrested, an internal power struggle breaks out with his rivals as well as between the “old guard” of the clan and the “young guard” headed by his son, Gennaro Savastano. Kino Lorber released season one on Oct. 26 and season two on Dec. 7.

At the start of season three there is a void to be filled in the underworld of Naples. The warring factions are exhausted by violence, massive police pressure, and drastic financial losses, and are ready to make peace. But as Genny (Salvatore Esposito) takes over North Naples and Rome, Ciro (Marco D’Amore) has been cast out to Bulgaria, licking his wounds. Upon his return he forms a powerful partnership with the upstart Enzo (Arturo Muselli) — and together they begin to take what they feel they are entitled to — ambitions that extend beyond Naples and the borders of Italy.

In season four, Genny (Salvatore Esposito) needs to change his own life to save the family. As he turns into a businessman, he has to hand his kingdom over to Patrizia (Cristiana Dell’Anna) and entrust his own life to a mob crew with ties to Donna Imma.

Kino Lorber to Release Marilyn Monroe Comedy ‘Some Like It Hot’ on 4K UHD Blu-ray

Kino Lorber on Jan. 18 will release the 1959 comedy classic Some Like It Hot, with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The film, directed by Billy Wilder, will be issued under the indie’s Kino Lorber Studio Classics line.

In the film, Chicago musicians Joe (Curtis) and Jerry (Lemmon) accidentally witness a gangland shooting. They quickly board a southbound train to Florida, disguised as Josephine and Daphne, the two newest — and homeliest — members of an all-female jazz band. Their cover is perfect, until a lovelorn singer falls for Josephine, an ancient playboy falls for Daphne, and a mob boss refuses to fall for their hoax.

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Some Like It Hot won the 1960 Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (Orry-Kelly) and received five nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Lemmon), Best Director (Wilder), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Wilder and Diamond), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (Charles Lang) and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White (Ted Haworth and Edward G. Boyle).

Bonus features on the two-disc 4K UHD release include a new audio commentary by film historian Joseph McBride, the author of Billy Wilder: Dancing on the Edge; another audio commentary by Paul Diamond (son of I.A.L. Diamond) and screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel; and several documentaries, including featurettes on the making of the film, its legacy, and memories from members of the female jazz band, the Sweet Sues.

Shout! Factory, Eleven Arts Set March 22 Release Date for ‘Millennium Actress’ Steelbook

Shout! Factory and Eleven Arts on March 22 will release the classic 2001  anime feature Millennium Actress as a Blu-ray Steelbook.

The release includes the original Japanese audio and the 2019 English dub, as well as a number of bonus features including a making-of featurette, highlighted by a rare interview with director Satoshi Kon. Fans can preorder their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com, and orders placed on the site will receive a collectable poster as a gift with purchase, while supplies last.

Millennium Actress has won countless awards and recognitions, including Grand Prize winner in the Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival.

The film, from famed anime studio Madhouse, was hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a lovely Valentine to the golden age of Japanese filmmaking and an era of gentler, deeper feelings.”

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In the film, the abrupt shutdown of Ginei Studios prompts filmmaker Genya Tachibana and his assistant to interview its reclusive star, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who had retired from the spotlight 30 years earlier. As Fujiwara recounts her career, Tachibana and his crew are pulled into her memories, where they witness her chance encounter with a mysterious man on the run from the police.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray Steelbook include:

  • “The Making of Millennium Actress,” with a rare interview with director Satoshi Kon;
  • Voice actress Laura Post interview;
  • Voice actress Abby Trott interview;
  • Producer Taro Maki interview;
  • Producer Masao Maruyama interview.
     

Kino Lorber to Give ‘The Great Escape’ the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Treatment

Kino Lorber Jan. 11 will release the action classic The Great Escape on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, under the indie’s Kino Lorber Studio Classics line.

The 1963 film, with Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Richard Attenborough, follows a group of Allied POWs who attempt one of the largest and most daring breakouts in history. The acclaimed collaboration between director John Sturges, screenwriters James Clavell and W.R. Burnett, and composer Elmer Bernstein, The Great Escape received a 1964 Academy Award nomination for Best Film Editing and a Best Motion Picture — Drama Golden Globe nomination.

The film is set during World War II in Germany’s Stalag Luft III, a maximum-security prisoner-of-war camp designed to hold even the craftiest escape artists. The Nazis unwittingly assemble the finest escape team in military history. Together, under the guidance of the brilliant Bartlett (Attenborough), the resourceful Hendley (Garner) and the steely, determined Hilts (McQueen), the men plot, scheme and dig their way to freedom.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc comes with hours of bonus content, including a new audio commentary by filmmaker and historian Steve Mitchell and Combat Films: American Realism author Steven Jay Rubin.

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Also included is an audio commentary with director Sturges and actors Garner, Coburn, Donald Pleasence, David McCallum and Jud Taylor, along with various crew members; a making-of documentary; three other documentaries narrated by Burt Reynolds; a look at the real Virgil Hilts; a documentary by Steven Clarke; additional interviews; and the original theatrical trailer.